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This final project is my attempt to step away from the confines of my genre box and explore a different type of story. I have always considered myself a horror writer, but over the time I have spent at CSUN, I have realized the value in exploration. Smokejumpers is based on a true story out of Montana in 1949 where 16 men jumped out of a plane and into the middle of a forest fire, but sadly only 3 survived. This story grabbed me not just because of the story's marketability, but because the plot is already set. All my stories up until this program have been plot driven with characters coming as a secondary. But, ever since I started working on this project, I have found the value in creating character first and filling a story around them. Here was an opportunity where I didn't need to focus on the plot, it was already done. My focus needed to be on developing these real life heroes and doing their lives justice. I don't feel that my story will ever be equal to their experience, but I do hope that they come across as heroic in my story as they were in real life. So this final project truly is a culmination of all that I have taken from my time at CSUN - step away from your comfort zone, explore stories that take you to places you haven't been, and don't be afraid to take risks.